Bridge, lock and overland traffic


Rozenburgsesluis, Port of Rotterdam


Botlek, The Netherlands

A cargo ship is approaching in the distance. Using the portable radio, the skipper submits the request for access to the Rozenburgsesluis. The locksman reads the vessel’s exact location on one of his monitors. Using the integrated control panel on his worktop, he opens the large gate. He then turns the signal light to green, which means the vessel can enter the lock. Meanwhile, one of the two bridges on the complex allows traffic to pass unhindered. After about 10 minutes, the water in the lock is at the right level. The ship can continue its route to the Botlek to unload its cargo.

20,000 ships a year

“About 75 ships pass through the lock on average every day,” explains lock operator Theo Huizenga. “Our work goes on day and night.” Theo is part of the team locksman of the Traffic Management Department at the Harbormaster Division consisting of 11 people who (based on the opening regime, procedures and guidelines) operate the lock and bridges. The Rozenburgsesluis (named after the town of Rozenburg) is part of a shipping route that is essential for easy access to and from the western docklands. For 51 years, the Caland Canal and the Hartelkanaal have been connected by this lock, significantly shortening the shipping route for mainly inland vessels.

The new SPLIT workstation

The latest risk inventory at the Rozenburgsesluis concluded that the operating desk at that time no longer met the current health and safety requirements. The operating desk had been around for quite some time and had to be occupied by at least two lock attendants at the same time. This was essential for operating the lock.

The Rozenburgsesluis is part of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. At various locations, they have good experience with CREON’s high-quality 24/7 furniture. So the quote for furnishing the Rozenburgsesluisā€™ control room was submitted to CREON.

A SPLIT workstation from CREON was chosen to replace the old operating table. This new workstation can be manned by one locksman. A folding module for data and power supply is integrated in the worktop. On the five screens attached to the workstation, the locksman can read all necessary information. The videowall behind the SPLIT workstation shows (live) camera feed of the road and water traffic.

An efficient and ergonomic workplace

During the preparatory phase, a plan was drawn up by the Port of Rotterdam Authority in consultation with an occupational health and safety expert and the company physiotherapist. This also included the lock attendants’ wishes. Based on this list of requirements, CREON came up with the final design proposal. An essential part of the 24-hour workplace is the control panel, which had to be integrated centrally in the design. All the electronics to be connected were also taken into account on beforehand. Smooth cooperation and coordination with the technical specialists was very important here.

In addition, the workplace had to comply with various ergonomic aspects, including optimal sightlines in relation to the monitors, the video wall and the lock chamber. This encourages the lock operator to adopt a good working posture while performing his work.

Fully relieved

The project was carried out on a tight schedule, ensuring that the lock blockage was of the shortest possible duration.

“CREON was definitely very thoughtful. We were completely relieved and we got what we wanted,” said Lars Vis, Traffic Team Leader at the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “So yes, I would recommend CREON.”